Tips to save water at home

By Carlos Roa

August is National Water Quality Month. The Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations agreed in 2015 on a total of 17 goals for year 2030. The sixth of these goals addresses the water conservation, to ensure the equitable access of humankind to this resource, as well as caring for it and making its use more efficient. 

According to this purpose, we can adopt new habits in our daily lives to help meet these global goals. Here we share some of them. 

We should not take too long bathing. The ideal is a short shower, turning off the tap when soaping or shampooing. It is also a good idea to turn off the sink faucet when applying soap to hands, shaving or brushing teeth. 

The average flow rate of a faucet is 2.2 gallons per minute. To avoid excessive water waste, do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth. To clean your razor, it is better to rinse it in a cup of water. By doing so, a family of 5 can save about 10 gallons of water per day.

There are numerous studies stating that the toilet is the primary source of water consumption in the household. It is recommended to replace traditional toilets with ecological dual-flush toilets, to use only the required amount of water and reduce consumption by half. They are inexpensive and easy to install.

In traditional toilets, one or two bottles filled with water or sand can be set into the tank to reduce the amount of water usage on each flush. The toilet should not be used as a rubbish bin, much of the waste that usually ends up in the toilet can be polluting and dangerous. 

It is recommended to use biodegradable or eco-friendly products for cleaning the house, dishes and clothes. Thus, the wastewater is not contaminated. Do not overuse bleach or pour oil down the toilet or sinks. 

When washing dishes, turn off the faucet while soaping them, then rinse them in groups: first all the glasses, for example. This makes better use of the water. It is not necessary to open the entire faucet to rinse the dishes. The dishwasher and washing machine should be used only when they are at full capacity.

Urgent care must be taken to stop faucets and pipes from leaking. If this is happening, fix them as soon as possible. It is also important to report water leaks at your place of work or businesses that you visit. Even the smallest leak can mean thousands of gallons of wasted water.

It is better to water plants early in the morning, when the temperature is cooler, so they consume less water. It is also recommended to choose species that are from the region, since they require less care to maintain and grow. 

The key is to make more and more people aware that small actions mean a lot when they add up. So, it is necessary to practice all these recommendations and share with relatives, friends and co-workers. A healthy environment starts at home.

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